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Pediatr Med Chir. 2008 May-Jun;30(3):121-40.

[Childhood obesity: recent advances and an experimental contribution].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Azienda Ospedaliera Materno-Infantile "G. Salesi", Ancona.


This work, in addition to the peculiar medical aspects of the children obesity, synthesize the experimental findings about the main plasmatic antioxidants (uric acid, ascorbic acid, retinol, coenzyme Q10, lycopene) and the platelet fatty acids profile in groups of children according to the following BMI criteria: 43 with a BMI ranging between 25 and 29; 43 with a BMI ranging between 21.7 e 22.9 and 20 with a BMI ranging between 18.5 e 20; average age 10.49 +/- 2.66. The antioxidants show a particular behaviour: in fact they decrease according to the BMI recorded within the groups. About this issue the international literature is not consistent. Probably different results can be found in more severe condition of obesity. Another important result is for the platelet fatty acid, independently from the BMI, weight etc. compared to the other subjects. The difference found is for the stearic acid, from 15 to 21 point of percentage, compared to all the other groups investigated. In agreement with the international literature, stearic acid seems to have an important role in the control of the platelet activation. This finding, could offer a better possibility to understand the progression of the atherosclerosis towards the ischemic condition, according to the age. The utilisation of particular mathematic models, the Artificial Neural Network, beyond the normal advanced statistic methods, has open to the understanding of phenomena, otherwise, inexplicable. With the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) it has been possible to classify the children using the ANN map built for the depressive condition (platelet fatty acids markers: palmitic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid) and the ANN map built for the ischemic condition (platelet fatty acids markers: oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid). Examining the maps, a certain percentage of children seems to be at high risk for several psychiatric conditions with respect to the major depression, while for the ischemic pathology the children are in the same position of the ischemic subjects. Because we know that the children are not ischemic, probably they have the same biochemical characteristics but are protected by the high level of stearic acid and by the high degree of saturation of the platelets. For this reason, children cannot belong to the map area of the major depression, which, in turn, is characterized by a very high degree of unsaturation of the fatty acids. Further studies are needed to better understand the complex situation of the children from the biochemical and psychiatric point of view.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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